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Working paper

Intangible-Intensive Profile Of A Company: The Key To Outperforming

This study explores corporate strategies regarding intangibles. We argue that companies consciously or unconsciously follow particular investment strategies in intangibles by allocating resources among intangible assets. The key contribution of our research is a new way to classify companies according to intangibles employed. The research question is if intangible-intensive profile exists. For the purpose of our each profile is identified on the intersection of the relevant theory of intellectual capital and empirical investigation. The intellectual capital concept enables elaboration of the framework of each company’s profile. The empirical analysis provides us with the clusters matched with the theoretical framework. The database consists of about 1700 listed European companies observed from 2004 till 2011. The database includes figures from annual statistics and financial reports. The information about intangibles was collected from publicly available sources like company websites, patent and information bureaus, and rating agencies. As a result more than 20 indicators are involved in the analysis. K-means clustering allows us distinguishing four major profiles of intangible-intensive companies. The empirical analysis allows identification of three profiles of companies: two of them (innovative and conservative) represent intangible intensive strategy. The third profile that doesn’t have clear priorities in intangibles was called in this study moderate (low) and was used as a benchmark to examine if intangible-intensive profiles enable better performance.